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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 31 Mar 2017

Lamborghini powers to Waipukurau Cup win

(By John Jenkins)

Hastings trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen are hoping Lamborghini’s impressive win in last week’s $20,000 Best Travel Waipukurau Cup will be enough to earn him a start in next month’s $75,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup.

Lamborghini was the winner of only two races and rated on 67 points before his Waipukurau success and has only gone up five points to 72.

Last year’s Hawke’s Bay Cup only drew a field of 12 starters, with the bottom two in the weights being only three-race winners. Lamborghini’s connections are hoping this year’s 2200-metre Hawke’s Bay Cup, run on April 15, again attracts only a small field so the Shinko King six-year-old can sneak into the race on the minimum weight.

“He was pretty impressive the other day and deserves to have a crack at a good race,” co-trainer Guy Lowry said.

 “He’s a horse that has always shown us plenty but he’s had a lot of problems and has only really come right this year.”

Lamborghini had to produce a big performance to win last week’s Waipukurau Cup. He wanted to over-race when the pace was very slow in the early stages but jockey Johnathan Parkes then got him to settle at the rear of the field going down the back straight and waited until the last 600m before asking the horse for an effort.

Lamborghini was still equal last and the widest runner when the field swung into the home straight but he then unleashed a powerful finishing burst that saw him bound to the front inside the last 300m and then race away for a 2-1/4 length win.

Lamborghini has now recorded two wins and two thirds from his last four starts, after being successful over 1900m at Wairoa last month. He is owned by Cambridge-based Tony Rider, who has been a long time client of the Lowry/Cullen stable.

The horse is out of the Fiesta Star mare Outraging, who won two races, and was bought for $28,000 from the Select session at the 2012 Karaka yearling sales.

Mare proves too good

Talented Hastings mare Goodsav returned to her best form with a dominant winning performance in a Rating 75 race over 1400m at Waipukurau last week.

It was the Savabeel mare’s first success since she took out a 1400-mertre Rating 65 race at Hastings in November 2015.

Trainer Patrick Campbell said Goodsav has had more than her fair share of problems in the interim and he was both relieved and delighted to see her back in the winner’s stall.

He said Goodsav has also shown a tendency to be reluctant to take tight gaps between horses in some of her races which had contributed to her disappointing last start performance  over 1600m at Trentham in December.

Campbell decided to freshen Goodsav after that race but has had a frustrating time getting her back to the races, with a foot injury and a back problem both flaring up in recent weeks.

She resumed at Waipukurau in great order and proved a class above her five rivals. Jockey Lisa Allpress settled the mare at the tail of the field until the home turn and once she angled her to the outside the acceleration the mare showed was electric. She quickly put a space on the field and cruised to the line 4-3/4 lengths clear of second placed All Charm, with Notionannagins half a length back in third.

Goodsav is now the winner of three races from only 13 starts and has also chalked up two seconds and two thirds, with one of those placings being a second in the Group 3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham this time last year.

The mare is owned by Waikato Stud who race her in partnership with the Goodfellas Syndicate, a group of 15 people who all live in and around the Wellington area. The syndicate is managed by bloodstock agent Phil Cataldo.

Campbell said this week that Goodsav has come through her Waipukurau race in great order and will now contest a $25,000 Rating 85 race over 1400m at Hastings on April 15.


Home track success

Perseverance paid off for Waipukurau couple Tony and Penny Ebbett when their mare Royal Ruby broke through for a well deserved win on her home track last week at her 15th start.

The Ebbett’s have bred and raced horses for many years, with Belfast Lad probably their most successful one. His 12 wins included a Foxton Cup (2040m) at Wanganui.

Tony Ebbett is the current course manager at Waipukurau and he and wife Penny are hobby trainers, never having more than one or two horses in work at a time.

Royal Ruby had recorded a second, two thirds and two fourths before last week’s win but hadn’t raced since October last year.

Penny Ebbett said this week the Per Incanto mare was a bit weak as a young horse and had needed time to strengthen and mature. The intention was for her to resume at the Waipukurau Christmas meeting last December but she kicked a post and injured a leg.

“She has always been a bit weak so by getting injured it probably gave her a bit more time to strengthen up a bit,” Ebbett said.

Royal Ruby finished second in a 1000m jumpout at Hastings at the beginning of this month and the Ebbetts have since given her plenty of extensive work on their farm property, where there is a steep hill that assists in building up muscles and stamina.

Top South Island jockey Chris Johnson was aboard Royal Ruby last week and bounced the mare away quickly from the 1200-metre barrier to take a clear lead at the end of the first 200m. They never looked like being headed from then on and crossed the line with a three-quarter length advantage over their rivals.

Penny Ebbett said winning a race on their home track was extra special, with so many well wishers and friends passing on their congratulations.

The Ebbetts race Royal Ruby on lease from her Hastings breeders, John and Colleen Duncan.

 “We had just lost Belfast Lad and the Duncans said they had this filly that they didn’t know what to do with so we took her,” Penny recalled.

She is one of two horses they have in work at the moment, the other being an unraced two-year-old gelding by Handsome Ransom.


Significant win for Bary

The win by Chouxperb in a Maiden 1400-metre event at Waipukurau last week was especially significant for his Hastings trainer John Bary.

Bary not only prepares the three-year-old but he also trained the gelding’s sire Jimmy Choux and his dam Xpectacular.

Jimmy Choux was an outstanding performer, winning 12 races and five of them at Group 1 level. His New Zealand victories included the New Zealand 2000 Guineas, New Zealand Derby, Windsor Park Plate and the Hawke’s Bay Spring Classic while he also won the Rosehill Guineas in Sydney.

Xpectacular only had two race starts for a win and a fifth. She was raced by Bary in partnership with long time stable client Ivan Grieve. The pair also share in the ownership of Chouxperb along with Bary’s mother Ann, Havelock North’s Tony Clark, Auckland-based Narendra Balia and two Gisborne men, Alan White and John McLaughlin.

Chouxperb was having his 10th start when he lined up at last week’s Waipukurau meeting and was rated perfectly in front all the way by rider Jonathan Riddell. The horse skipped clear rounding the home turn and managed to stave off late challenges from race favourite Ravenhill and Wotamission to hold on by a nose.  


Brisbane trip planned

 Hawke’s Bay-bred All Roads is likely to be campaigned in Brisbane this winter after his powerful winning performance in last Saturday’s Group 2 $100,000 Windsor Park Stud Japan/NZ Trophy Race at Tauranga.

 It was the horse’s sixth victory from only 19 starts and he had also been runner-up three times this campaign, including an unlucky run when cramped for room in the Group 2 Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie.

 The Road To Rock five-year-old was bred by well known Hawke’s Bay owner-breeder Don Gordon who sold a majority interest in the horse but still retains a share in him.

Jockey Kelly McCulloch has now been aboard All Roads in five of the horse’s six wins. She gave the horse time to find his feet in the early stages of the 1600m feature and then improved his position coming to the home turn. She was able to get a good run through the field and All Roads shot clear before holding out the fast finishing Scapolo by a short neck.

 All Roads is likely to have his next start in the Group 1 $200,000 Easter Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 22 and another top performance there will probably confirm his trip to Queensland.


Saint Kitt adds to SI record

Hastings-trained stayer Saint Kitt added to his impressive form line this season with another game win in last Saturday’s $30,000 Hororata Gold Cup at Riccarton.

The seven-year-old Keeper gelding was having his first start for seven weeks when he lined up in the 1800m event and ran the race out strongly to win by half a head in a close four horse finish.

Saint Kitt is raced by Hastings trainer Kelly Burne and her Perth-based son Vinnie Meenehan but has been temporarily placed in the care of Riccarton trainer Pam Robson and has recorded three wins, two seconds, a third and a fourth from his last seven starts in the South Island. His stake earnings from those seven races amounts to $70,850.

Plans are for the horse to remain in Robson’s care for three more races at Riccarton over the next month. The first of those is a $30,000 Open 2000m event tomorrow week, followed by the Group 3 $100,000 Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) on April 22 and the $60,000 Great Autumn Handicap (2500m) on May 6.

Burne said the horse will then return to Hastings and be put aside for a winter spell.


Lamborghini strides clear of his rivals inside the last 100 metres of last week’s Waipukurau Cup. The Shinko King gelding is now being aimed at the Listed $75,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup at Hastings on April 15.

A delighted Penny Ebbett leads Royal Ruby away after the mare’s popular home track win at last week’s Waipukurau meeting. Ebbett and her husband Tony train the mare and race her on lease.

Hastings Trackwork 28 Mar 2017

There were no gallops recorded at this morning’s Hastings track session, with several trainers taking horses to the Waipukurau jumpouts scheduled for later in the day.

John Jenkins

Group 1 Breeders Stakes next for Miss Wilson 24 Mar 2017

The Group 1 $200,000 New Zealand Thoroughbred Stakes at Te Aroha on April 8 is the next mission for Hastings mare Miss Wilson after she recorded another dominant winning performance in last Saturday’s Group 3 $70,000 Cuddle Stakes at Trentham.

It was the Stratum mare’s fourth win in a row and easily her most comprehensive performance as she ran away from her rivals in the home straight to score by three-quarters of a length.

Rider Samantha Collett bounced the mare away well from the 1600-metre barrier to lead in the first 200 metres before taking a sit outside the pacemaking Pretty Good Excuse. She kicked her mount clear early in the home straight and then, inside the last 200 metres, the mare seemed to change stride and accelerate away from her rivals.

Miss Wilson is owned by her Havelock North breeders Richard and Liz Wood. She is a younger half-sister to the five-time Group 1 winner Jimmy Choux, who was also owned by the Woods and won 12 races in total and more than $3.6million in stakemoney. He is now a resident sire at Rich Hill Stud in Matamata.

Miss Wilson has now won five races in total from only 16 starts, with her maiden victory being over 1400m at Ballarat, in Victoria, when she was trained for a time in Australia.

Hastings trainer John Bary prepared Miss Wilson for her first three starts for a second and two fourths and she re-entered his stable last year. He has since lined her up four times for four wins.

Miss Wilson was having her first start beyond 1400m last Saturday but Bary was confident she would run the distance out strongly and wasn’t worried when she drew barrier 11 out of 14 runners.

“Drawing out with her doesn’t worry me as she is a big striding mare that needs plenty of racing room,” Bary said.

“Everything told me that she would get the trip. Her work has gone to the next level and she delivered.”

The New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes is also run over 1600 metres, but is at weight-for-age. It will mean that Miss Wilson will have to carry 57kg compared to the 55kg she had under the set weights and penalties conditions of last Saturday's race.

It will be a bitter-sweet moment if John Bary can get Miss Wilson home first in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Stakes as he lined up the dual Group 1 winning mare Recite in last year’s race, only to see her break a leg mid-race which necessitated in her having to be euthanized. That will always remain one of the lowest points in his training career.

Adelaide plans for Savvy Dreams

There is a chance Hastings-trained filly Savvy Dreams could be competing in rich three-year-old races in Adelaide over the next couple of months following her game third in last Saturday’s Group 1 $300,000 New Zealand Oaks at Trentham.

Savvy Dreams produced one of the runs of the race in the 2400-metre event as she got a long way back in the running and was held up when trying to improve along the inside rail coming to the home turn. Rider Leith Innes persevered with a rails run in the home straight and the filly finished the race off strongly for third behind Bonneval and Devise.

Innes was impressed with the filly’s performance and predicted a big future for her.

Savvy Dreams is prepared by the Hastings training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen who immediately turned the filly out for a 10 day spell. They will monitor her progress over the next few days and decide about the middle of next week whether or not to bring her back into full work.

Guy Lowry said first impressions were that the filly took no harm from the race and, providing she does well, he will aim her at the Group 1 $400,000 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville on May 6.

She will be booked on a flight to Melbourne on either April 10 or April 12 and then travel by float to Adelaide the following day.

The plan is to give her a run in an $A120,000 Group 3 race over 1800 metres at Morphettville on April 22 as a lead up to the Australasian Oaks. 

If Savvy Dreams happens to miss in the Australasian Oaks she could line up two weeks later in the Group 3 South Australian Oaks (2500m). She will then come home for a three month winter spell and wouldn’t race again until next summer.


Saint Kitt stays south

Hastings trainer Kelly Burne still has her top galloper Saint Kitt based in the South Island and he will line up in tomorrow’s $30,000 Hororata Cup at Riccarton.

Burne decided to leave the Keeper seven-year-old in the care of Riccarton trainer Pam Robson while she went on an overseas holiday and it has now been decided to give the horse four more races down there before he comes home for a winter spell.

“There are four races for him down there and they are all at Riccarton, which is a track he seems to like,” Burne said.

 “There is the Hororata Cup over 1800 metres this Saturday and then, two weeks after that; there is an open 2000-metre race on the same track worth $30,000.

“After that there is the $100,000 Canterbury Gold Cup over 2000 metres on April 22 and then the $60,000 Great Autumn Handicap over 2500 metres on May 6.

“Pam said the horse has freshened up well since his last start and she is pleased with his condition going into this Saturday’s race.”

Saint Kitt has not raced since finishing second in the Listed $50,000 Dunedin Gold Cup (2500m) at Wingatui on February 4 and that followed a win over 2000m at Riccarton on January 28.

Nowadays Burne races Saint Kitt in partnership with her Perth-based son Vinnie but the horse was raced by several partnerships in the early days of his career.

He now has a record of six wins, five seconds and three thirds from 41 starts.


HB Cup on the agenda

Promising stayer Rock On has joined the list of likely candidates for next month’s Hawke’s Bay Cup following his strong win in last Saturday’s Listed $50,000 New Zealand St Leger at Trentham.

The Road To Rock four-year-old chalked up his fourth win from 20 starts when he out-toughed his rivals over the final stages of the 2500m event, winning by three-quarters of a length from All In Vogue and Gorbachev.

The success provided Awapuni trainer Gary Vile with back-to-back wins in the race after Jacksstar took out last year’s event on his way to finishing fourth in the Hawke’s Bay Cup.

“This horse (Rock On) will go to the Hawke’s Bay Cup and then have a break,” Vile said.

“It’s exactly the same path was we went last year with Jacksstar.”

Vile has unfortunately lost the services of Jacksstar for an indefinite period. This year’s Wellington Cup runner up damaged a flexor tendon when finishing third in last week’s Group 1 Auckland Cup and will be sidelined for a long time.

Other talented stayers being aimed at this year’s Listed $75,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) on April 15 include this year’s Wellington Cup winner Savaria and Sampson.


McDonald appeals again

James McDonald hasn’t given up the fight against the severity of his disqualification on a betting charge.

He was handed an 18-month ban by Racing NSW stewards and his appeal to the Racing Appeal Panel last week was unsuccessful.

McDonald’s hearing date with the Racing Appeals Tribunal has yet to be set.


Australian Oaks on radar

Bonneval and Devise are likely to continue their rivalry in next month’s Group 1 $A1million Australian Oaks at Randwick on April 8.

The connections of both fillies indicated they are keen to press on to Sydney after they fought out the finish of last Saturday’s Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.

Bonneval’s owners are keen for the filly to head across the Tasman and she is booked on a flight to Sydney next Monday.

Bonneval’s defeat of Devise at Trentham completed a hat-trick of wins for the Makfi filly, who had previously been successful in the Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic and the Group 3 Lowland Stakes.

Her run of form also secured her the title of NZ Bloodstock Filly of the Year.

Devise was third in both the Sir Tristram and the Lowland before coming up a half a length short behind Bonneval when runner-up in the Oaks.


Off to Sydney

Last-start Wellington Guineas winner Saracino is booked to travel to Sydney next Monday.

Damien Oliver has already been booked to ride the Per Incanto colt in the Group 2 Arrowfield Three-year-old at Randwick on April 8.

Oliver won the Group 2 Danehill Stakes at Flemington on Saracino in the spring and his was in touch with Baker shortly after the horse won at Trentham.


Stamina test

Connections of New Zealand-bred horses deep on stamina will have a lucrative Australian target to aim at next year.

The Jericho Cup has been revived in its centenary year and will be run over 4600 metres at Warrnambool in November, 2018, for a stake of $A300,000.

The event is the brainchild of Melbourne racing enthusiast Bill Gibbins and is dedicated to the Australian Light Horse and their Middle East contribution during World War I.

 “The Jericho Cup is limited to Australasian-bred horses, but the remaining programme is open to all comers,” Gibbins said.

“It will be an annual event that can grow to be an Australian icon.”

Miss Wilson is at full stride, under the urgings of jockey Samantha Collett, as she races clear of her rivals for a three-quarter length win in last Saturday’s Group 3 $70,000 Cuddle Stakes at Trentham. It was the Stratum mare’s fourth win in a row.



Hastings Trackwork 21 Mar 2017

A fast 600-metre sprint by Hunta Pence and sound workouts by Goodsav and Tudor Angel were the highlights at this morning’s Hastings track session.

Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing.

Hunta Pence was only let stride out over the last 600 metres of his work but he showed plenty of zip to cut out the distance in 35s. The No Excuse Needed gelding has been kept fresh since finishing a good third over 1600 metres at Hastings on March 2 and is entered for the Rating 65 1600 at Waipukurau on Thursday.

His stablemate Goodsav also work well when running a solo 800 metres in 52, the last 600 in 37.5. She is entered for the Rating 75 race over 1400 metres at Waipukurau.

Tudor Angel, a promising Cape Blanco filly in Dave Stenning’s stable, worked on the extreme outside of the plough and recorded 1:7 for 1000 metres, the last 600 in 37.7. She could have a run at next Tuesday’s Waipukurau trials.

Lamborghini, preparing for Thursday’s $20,000 Best Travel Waipukurau Cup (2100m), was given an easy run over 1200 metres in 1:31.7, the last 600 in 44.3. He looks to have trained on well since his good last start third over 2100 metres at Hastings on March 2. Johnathan Parkes rides him.

Basel Dove, entered for a maiden race at Waipukurau, clocked 1:4.1 for 1000 metres, the last 600 in 37.7 and Dylan Turner has been booked to ride her.

Cajun, who may start at Tauherenikau on Sunday, ran an easy 1000 metres in 1:14.1, the last 600 in 43.8 while Nigella Jazz, a likely starter in the two-year-old race at Tauherenikau, ran 800 metres in 51.8, the first 200 in 14.6 and the last 600 in 37.2.

Powerade, another likely starter at Waipukurau on Thursday, ran an easy 1000 metres in 1:11.9, the last 600 in 42.7 while a Sir Percy four-year-old mare clocked 1:17.8 for 1200 metres, the last 600 in 43.7.

Oscar’s Shadow, entered for the Rating 65 race over 1600 metres at Waipukurau, was restricted to just three-quarter pace over 1000 metres in 1:17.3, the last 600 in 45.4 while Real Beach ran an easy 800 metres in 59.1, the last 600 in 43.8.

Absolutely Peaches took 1:10.1 for 1000 metres, the last 600 in 38.9 while Strut was kept under a good hold over 800 metres in 58.1, the last 600 in 43.1.

Tui Gold and a Lope de Vega three-year-old gelding worked together over 800 metres in 55.6, the last 600 in 40.3 while a Captain Rio four-year-old gelding and a Nadeem three-year-old gelding ran over the same distance in 54, the last 600 in 38.4.

A Shocking three-year-old gelding and a Sufficient three-year-old, both in the Lowry/Cullen stable, were restricted to just three-quarter pace over 1000 metres while Caversham was only let stride out over the last 400 metres of his work and clocked 23.3.


Retirement plans now on hold for HB-owned mare 17 Mar 2017

Retirement plans now on hold for HB-owned mare


Hawke’s Bay-owned mare Missteeflying earned a reprieve from the retirement paddock when she made an auspicious return to the winner’s stall at last week’s Ashburton meeting.


The seven-year-old mare was on her last chance to show a return to form after five unplaced efforts since her last success, over 2030m at Cromwell in November last year.


The all Hawke’s Bay syndicate that races the mare had just about given up hope of her winning another race, along with the mare’s Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston.


“It was her last chance to show something again,” syndicate spokesman Hamish MacGregor said this week.


“After her last start ninth at Riccarton, which was on a track that she has never gone any good on anyway, Andrew Carston said she may have lost interest in racing.


“But we decided to give her one more chance at Ashburton, where we knew she goes well.


“Andrew changed her work around and put her over a few hurdles, which she hated, but it obviously changed her attitude.”


Singapore-born apprentice Rafi Firdhaus was able to claim a 3kg allowance on Missteeflying in the $10,000 Rating 65 race over 2100m and MacGregor said that also made a big difference.


Firdhaus bounced the mare straight to the front and dictated terms, kicking her clear of the others in the final stages to win by three-quarters of a length.


MacGregor said it was if the mare was looking for hurdles that she might have to jump and when she didn’t see any she just kept up a strong gallop.


It was Missteeflying’s sixth win from 67 starts and she has also notched up eight seconds and seven thirds.


The mare was originally prepared by Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta and won her maiden race over 2200m at Hastings in January 2014.


Latta also produced Missteeflying to win another race from her then Riccarton satellite stable but when she closed that base in 2015 the mare was transferred to Carston.


MacGregor, who managed the syndicate that races Missteeflying for the early part of her racing career, said the mare has never run a really bad race but her small stature has meant that she was always going to struggle in stronger company in the North Island so the best thing was to send her to the South Island.

“It just goes to show how good the Rating system in racing works for horses like her,” he said.


“She was winning her sixth race last week and yet she was still in a Rating 65. If she had been racing in the North Island she probably would have been retired by now.”


Missteeflying was bred by MacGregor in partnership with another Havelock North man, Peter Rochester, who now manages the syndicate that races the mare. The other members are MacGregor’s wife Katherine, Ross and Caroline Caulton, Jeremy Harrison, Margaret Kenny, Barry and Wendy McGaveston, Andrew Mulligan, Rachel Pedersen and Ron and Pam White.


Missteeflying is out of the Black Minnaloushe mare Miss Toffelees and is an older half-sister to Pop Hit, another horse bred by Rochester and raced by him along with several other members of the same Missteeflying syndicate. She was by Swiss Ace and won one race but has since been retired.


Another half-brother to Missteeflying, by Ekraar, was sold to China and finished third in a Group 1 two-year-old race in Inner Mongolia.


MacGregor said Missteeflying will one day be retired and will probably end up as a good hack for someone.

“She is only a pony and has got no size or scope about her so it wouldn’t be worthwhile breeding from her,” he added.


Stepping out in style

Hastings-trained Steppenwolf, a horse that showed plenty of promise as a three-year-old 12 months ago, returned to his best with a commanding win in a Rating 65 race at Otaki last week.


The Stravinsky four-year-old bounced straight to the front in the 1400m event and was always in control. He was taken on for the lead in the early stages but soon shook that challenger off and raced clear in the home straight to win by 2-1/2 lengths.


It was Steppenwolf’s first win since he took out a 1400m maiden race at Hastings in December 15 and, although he has recorded several minor placings since, he had spoilt his chances on occasions by wanting to get his head up and over-race.


“We decided to go back to taking him to the front and letting him do his own thing,” trainer John Bary said this week.


“He’s a horse that is very soft in the mouth and so you can’t fight him.”


Steppenwolf still had a high head carriage in the early stages of last week’s Otaki race but he was a lot more settled for jockey Lisa Allpress and stretched his neck out well over the final stages.


Bary said it was great to get Steppenwolf back in winning form and he will now look at a Saturday race for the horse.


“He has got to the top of the handicap in Rating 65 races after that win so I’ll probably step him up in class to a Rating 75 race next. He will get into a race like that with a light weight and there is one at Awapuni on April 1 that could suit him.”


Steppenwolf was bred by Kylie Bax, along with her parents and Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan. They race the horse in partnership with two Taranaki couples, Jim and Gloria Martin and Wayne and Denise Darling.


Steppenwolf is certainly bred to be good as he is out of the Zabeel mare Queen Of Keros, who was the winner of one race and whose dam is the Avondale Cup winner Maurine, who was successful nine times from only 31 starts.


Local hope in NZ Oaks

Hastings will have a representative in tomorrow’s Group 1 $300,000 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks at Trentham with the Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen trained Savvy Dreams tackling the 2400m feature.


A start for Savvy Dreams in New Zealand’s most prestigious race for three-year-old fillies was confirmed after she finished a game second in the Group 3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings on March 2.


That was only the filly’s fourth career start and followed a maiden win over 1200m at Hastings on New Year’s Day, a fifth over 1400m at Trentham in January and a fourth over 1600m at Woodville last month.


Savvy Dreams only went down by half a head when second to Bonneval in the Lowland Stakes after she had to work hard, three-wide, when improving her position inside the last 700m. She looked the winner when still in front 50 metres off the line and was only collared in the last stride.


The Savabeel filly has come through that hard race in good order and was given a searching gallop over 1600m on the course proper at the Hastings track last Monday. She was timed to run the last 1200m in 1:17.5, which was a good time considering the very heavy track conditions.


Co-trainer Guy Lowry said Savvy Dreams wasn’t happy in the heavy ground but still ran clear of her galloping partner over the final stages. He and the filly’s connections are hoping track conditions improve to no worse than dead for tomorrow’s Wellington meeting.


Waipukurau races

The Waipukurau Jockey Club will stage its annual Waipukurau Cup race day on their racecourse next Thursday, March 23.


An eight race programme is scheduled, with the feature race being the $20,000 Best Travel Waipukurau Cup, a Rating 75 event over 2100m.


All other races will have a minimum stake of $10,000.


Nominations for the meeting close at 12 noon next


Monday with final fields drawn up after withdrawals at 10am the following day.


HB Cup chances

Two of this season’s top stayers in the Central Districts, Savaria and Sampson, are likely starters in the Group 3 $75,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup at Hastings on April 15.


The trainers of both horses have kept their charges in work with both likely to use the Group 3 Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) at Awapuni on April 1 as a lead up.


Savaria was the winner of the Group 2 Wellington Cup (3200m) at Trentham in January and has had one start since for a 10th out of 15 in the Nathans Memorial (2200m) at Ellerslie a fortnight ago.

“We’ll run her in the Awapuni Gold Cup,” Awapuni trainer Roydon Bergerson said this week. “Then there’s the Hawke’s Bay Cup and after that she’ll either have a break or look at Queensland.”


Sampson was successful in the Group 3 Trentham Stakes (2100m) at Trentham three stars back and has enjoyed a brief let-up since he finished out of the money in the Group 2 Avondale Cup (2400m) on February 18. “We kept him at the stables and gave him a couple of weeks off,” Otaki trainer Howie Mathews said.

“I’ll probably give him a run in the Awapuni Gold Cup and if all is well we’ll run in the Hawke’s Bay Cup.”


McDonald appeal

New Zealand-born jockey James McDonald is hoping to have an 18-month disqualification for a betting offence reduced on appeal.


McDonald will appear before the Racing NSW Appeals Panel next Monday over the ban imposed by stewards in December.


The 25-year-old was banned after admitting to placing a $1000 bet on Astern when the John O'Shea-trained colt made a winning debut at Randwick on December 5, 2015.


The jockey stood himself down in November 15, 2015 when he was approached by stewards investigating the matter.



 Missteeflying stretches out well to hold out the challengers inside the last 100 metres of a Rating 65 race over 2100m at Ashburton on Thursday of last week. Her return to form has delayed retirement plans.


Jockey Lisa Allpress salutes the judge as she brings Steppenwolf back at the head of the field following the horse’s all the way win in a Rating 65 race over 1400m at Otaki on Friday of last week.



Racing: Oscar’s Shadow 16/3/17

Stablemates Oscar’s Shadow and Strut, both likely starters at next Thursday’s Waipukurau meeting, recorded a quick time over 1000 metres at this morning’s Hastings track session.

Fast work was carried out on the plough and wide out on the No.1 grass, both tracks providing soft footing.

Oscar’s Shadow and Strut worked on the No.1 grass and clocked 1:4.3 for 1000 metres, the last 600 in 36.3s. Oscar’s Shadow recorded a well deserved maiden win at Wairoa last month but then disappointed on a firm track at Hastings last start. She is likely to contest the Rating 65 race over 1600 metres at Waipukurau.

Strut is a filly by Pins who suffered a cut leg and was late scratched at the barrier when down to make her race debut at Wairoa. She is now fully recovered and likely to contest a Maiden 1200 at Waipukurau.

Scandalo rounded off his preparation for the Rating 65 1400 at Trentham on Saturday with a 600-metre sprint in 38.8. He was only let stride out fully over the final 200 metres and looked full of running at the finish. Chris Johnson, who rode the horse to win at Wairoa last month, will again have the mount on Saturday.

Tudor Angel turned in one of the best times on the plough when running 800 metres in 53.2, the last 600 in 37.9. She is a Cape Blanco three-year-old trained by David Stenning.

 Lamborghini, preparing for next Thursday’s Waipukurau Cup, ran a solo 1000 metres on the grass in 1:7.5, the last 600 in 38 and looked to finish the work off well. He finished third over 2100m at Hastings last start in his first middle distance run this time in.

His stablemate Powerade also worked over 1000 metres on his own and was time to run the distance in 1:8.1 while Cajun took 1:5.5 for a solo 1000 metres on the grass, the last 600 in 37.4.

Caversham, another trained by Dave Stenning, was kept under a hold over 800 metres on the plough in 55.9, the last 600 in 39.7 while Worldclass took 1:7.1 for 1000 metres on the No.1 grass. She is another likely starter at next Thursday’s Waipukurau meeting.

New Zealand Oaks entrant Savvy Dreams was restricted to just two rounds of pacework on the plough. The Savabeel filly looks in good order for Saturday’s Group 1 event at Trentham but needs a reasonably firm track to show her best. Leith Innes has been booked to ride her again.



Hastings Trackwork 14 Mar 2017

Impressive last start winner Scandalo turned in a pleasing gallop on his own at this morning’s Hastings track session and could be a starter at this Saturday’s Wellington meeting.

Fast work was carried out on the plough and wide out on the No.1 grass, both tracks providing heavy footing after several days of steady rain.

Scandalo worked over 1000n metres on the plough in 1:13.4, running home the last 600 in 41.7. The former South Island-trained four-year-old is now in the Hastings stable of Patrick Campbell and scored by 3-3/4 lengths in a 1450-metre maiden race at Wairoa last month.

Campbell had initially planned to run the horse next at Waipukurau next week but, with the likelihood of a rain affected track at Trentham, he has entered him for the Rating 65 1600 there on Saturday.

 Gilhoolie, a likely runner in the two-year-old race at Trentham, worked early in the session and was timed to run 1000 metres in 1:13.8. Fog prevented any sectional times being taken.

 Oscar’s Shadow, a likely starter in the Rating 65 race over 1600 metres at Waipukurau next week, worked with stablemate Strut over 1000 metres on the No.1 grass in 1:16.8, the last 600 in 45.4. Oscar’s Shadow disappointed at Hastings last start but probably found track conditions a bit too firm for her.

Lamborghini, another likely starter at Waipukurau, worked easily on his own over 1000 metres on the plough in 1:17.5, the last 600 in 47 while Tudor Angel ran 1000 metres on the same track in 1:14.5, the last 600 in 39.8.

Beedeekay, a Jimmy Choux two-year-old trained by Kate Hercock, worked in from the 1000-metre peg on the plough and was timed to run the last 800 metres in 56.6, the final 600 in 41.4.

Cajun was not hurried when running 1000 metres on the plough in 1:12, the last 600 in 42.5 while Caversham ended his work with 600 metres in 39.1.

Tui Gold worked with a Lope de Vega three-year-old gelding ran an easy 800 metres, the last 600 in 44.9 while Real Beach ended her work on the plough with 600 metres in 45.2. She turned in a good performance for third when making her race debut over 12-00 metres at Wairoa last month.


Celebration drinks aplenty after Lady Guinness prevails 10 Mar 2017

There was plenty of celebrating done after Hawke’s Bay owned and trained Lady Guinness broke through for an impressive maiden win at the Hawke’s Bay twilight race meeting on Thursday of last week.

The Falkirk filly is raced by a 14-member syndicate and all of the members live in Hawke’s Bay. She is trained on the Hastings track by Patrick Campbell, who is also one of the syndicate members.

 Lady Guinness was having just her second start and her victory spoke volumes of Campbell’s training skills, given that it was her first start for four months and that she has been anything but an easy horse to do anything with.

 Campbell has had numerous difficult horses to educate in his more than 40 years as a racehorse trainer but Lady Guinness has been one of the toughest. The filly used to refuse to go out onto the Hastings track to be worked of a morning and it got to the stage that she had to be jogged out at speed from the saddling stalls and straight onto the training track.

 Campbell and his trackwork rider Lisa Beacham have been instrumental in changing the horse’s attitude and, in the main; she now walks on and off the track without a problem.

 Campbell gave Lady Guinness one start at Hastings back in November last year, where she finished fourth over 1200m. He then turned her out for a spell to develop both physically and mentally and she spent seven weeks being agisted on the Hastings property of former top trainer Davey Jones and his wife Dulcie.

 The filly went into last Thursday’s race without having the benefit of an official trial but Campbell had her ready to produce a top performance fresh up.

Jockey Johnathan Parkes had Lady Guinness positioned fourth in the early running but then let her slide around three-wide from the 700-metre point to be in a challenging position coming to the home bend. She made that bend awkwardly but, once balanced up again, she quickly gathered in the leaders and raced clear over the final stages to win by 2-1/4 lengths.

Lady Guinness is owned by Windsor Park Stud, in Cambridge, and is raced on lease.

Jason Britton manages the syndicate that races the filly and has a 20 per cent share with the other members being Don, Rob and Alistair Poulgrain, Aaron Brittin, Nick Dorwood, Aaron Bourke, Jamie Flett, Mark O’Shaughnessy, Kelly O’Rourke, Eddie and Scotty Burn, Kim Bone and Patrick Campbell.

Lady Guinness is out of the Danske mare Grace Park, who recorded three wins and eight minor placings from only 16 starts, with one of her victories being in the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Air Freight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton.

Cuddle Stakes for Miss Wilson

The Group 3 $70,000 Cuddle Stakes at Trentham tomorrow week is now on the agenda for class Hastings mare Miss Wilson following her third win in a row last week.

 The Stratum mare completed the winning hat-trick in impressive fashion when taking out the $22,500 Nadeem 1300, the opening event at Hawke’s Bay Racing’s twilight meeting on Thursday of last week. It was her fourth win from only 15 starts and showed she has inherited much of the ability of her older half-brother, the five time Group 1 winner Jimmy Choux.

 Like Jimmy Choux, Miss Wilson is trained on the Hastings track by John Bary and is owned by Havelock North couple Richard and Liz Wood.

Bary said he would like to give the mare a chance at a black type race and the Cuddle Stakes, a 1600m event restricted to fillies and mares, fits the bill nicely.

“It’s run under set weight and penalty conditions so she should get in on 55 kilograms which should make her competitive,” Bary said.

 Miss Wilson started a hot favourite for last Thursday’s 1300m event on the back of wins over 1200m at Trentham on January 21 and over 1400m at Woodville on February 11.

She was only opposed by five others and jockey Jonathan Riddell got her to settle in behind the leading quartet until just before the home turn before asking her to extend.

Miss Wilson accelerated quickly, driving between horses to challenge the pacemaking Belle Cadeau soon after straightening for the run home. The latter kicked back strongly but Miss Wilson gained the ascendancy inside the last 200 metres and strode clear in the final stages to win by three-quarters of a length.

 Miss Wilson has yet to win beyond 1400m but Bary is confident she will run out a strong 1600m at Trentham, saying the mare seems to be improving all the time.

 “She is really doing well and was better going into today’s race than in her last two wins,” he said.


Last-stride success

 Hastings owned and trained Xcuses Xcuses capped off a string of minor placings with a last stride victory in a $10,000 Rating 75 race over 1200m at last Friday’s Marton meeting at Awapuni.

 The No Excuse Needed mare had not graced the winner’s stall since taking out a 1300m race at Wairoa 12 months ago but she had also not finished further back than sixth in 10 starts in the interim.

Tearaway leader Platinum Express looked the likely winner when a good six lengths clear of the opposition rounding the home bend but Xcuses Xcuses gradually wore her down in the last 300 metres and got up to snatch a nose decision on the line.

It was the mare’s fourth win and she has also recorded seven minor placings from 23 starts. She was ridden to victory by Jonathan Riddell who denied Robert Hannam, the jockey on Platinum Express, his 1000th New Zealand winner.

Xcuses Xcuses was bred by her Hastings trainer John Bary in partnership with long time client Ivan Grieve and they race the mare in partnership with two other Hawke’s Bay men in Tony Clark and Mike Sanders, along with Auckland-based Narendra Balia.


Hastings filly for NZ Oaks

Hastings-trained filly Savvy Dreams has come through her gut-busting run for second in last week’s Group 3 $70,000 Lowland Stakes in good order and will now press on to the Group 1 $300,000 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham tomorrow week.

The Savabeel filly produced an outstanding performance in the 2100-metre event, going down by just half a head after having to do plenty of work in the running.

 Savvy Dreams drew one from the outside and rider Leith Innes had no option but to settle her back in the early stages. He knew that on a day when horses weren’t coming from the back, he needed to take up a more prominent position so he let the filly improve three-wide around the field from the 700-metre peg and she was quickly up outside the leaders rounding the home turn.

Savvy Dreams then dashed to the front and looked to have first prize in the bag until Bonneval, which had tracked her into the race, produced giant strides in the last 100 metres to get up and snatch victory off her on the line.

Both horses are likely to do battle again in the New Zealand Oaks and Leith Innes has retained the mount on Savvy Dreams.


Another Derby tilt likely

 Sacred Elixir, although only fifth in last Saturday’s Group 1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby, could head back across the Tasman for a third tilt at a Derby.

 Trainer Tony Pike successfully campaigned the son of Pour Moi in Brisbane and Melbourne last year and he is now looking at Sydney.

 The winner of last season’s Group1 JJ Atkins Stakes in Brisbane and runner-up in the Group1 VRC Derby in Melbourne, Sacred Elixir’s performance at Ellerslie last Saturday didn’t harm his future travel plans.

 “He pulled up very well,” Pike said.

 “He’s improving and his sectionals were very good. He got back in a slowly run race and he’s heading in the right direction.

“We’ll look at the ATC Derby. We’re keeping our options open and whether he runs in the Rosehill Guineas has yet to be decided.”

Drop back in distance

 Steppenwolf continues to frustrate his Hastings trainer John Bary.

The son of Stravinsky was expected to show his quality in his last start, on his home track at last week, only to disappoint after having every chance in the hands of top jockey Opie Bosson.

“I was confident he would win, but Opie felt he didn’t stay the mile so we’ll drop him back to 1400 at Otaki this Friday,” Bary said.

Steppenwolf, whose maiden win came at the expense of the highly-regarded Sacred Way, is a grand-son of the dual Group One winner Maurine.

Weir attacks Auckland Cup

Champion Australian trainer Darren Weir will break new ground this weekend.

He will have his first New Zealand runner when Lord Van Percy steps out in the Group 1 $500,000 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie on Saturday.

The former English galloper was expected to arrive in Auckland on a flight from Melbourne yesterday and Vinnie Colgan has been booked to ride the stayer.

Weir, who spreads his forces over country and metropolitan tracks, has won 272 races this season, almost 100 more than any other Australian trainer.

 Lord Van Percy, who is at $21 with the New Zealand TAB for the Cup, finished fourth in the listed Torney Cup at Moonee Valley at his last start. He had been fourth over 2400m at Caulfield at his previous attempt and ran second over 2500m at Flemington in December.

The Sir Percy gelding, who is part-owned by OTI Racing, won five races in England when trained by Andrew Balding, including 2800m wins at Newmarket and Goodwood. He was also runner-up in the Ebor Handicap, one of England’s most competitive handicaps.

Jockey Jonathan Riddell brings Hastings-trained mare Miss Wilson back to the winner’s stall following their decisive three-quarter length victory in a Rating 75 race over 1300m at Hastings last week.

Jockey Jonathan Riddell brings Hastings-trained mare Miss Wilson back to the winner’s stall following their decisive three-quarter length victory in a Rating 75 race over 1300m at Hastings last week.

Hastings filly Lady Guinness stretches out impressively, under the urgings of jockey Johnathan Parkes, to score a decisive 2-1/4 length win in a 1300m maiden race at Hastings on Thursday of last week

Hastings filly Lady Guinness stretches out impressively, under the urgings of jockey Johnathan Parkes, to score a decisive 2-1/4 length win in a 1300m maiden race at Hastings on Thursday of last week

Hastings Trackwork 7 Mar 2017

Wait A Sec, one of only a few Hastings horses racing in the coming days, worked well on his own at this morning’s Hastings track session.

There was very little in the way of fast work, which was confined to the plough (good).

Wait A Sec was given two 600-metre runs, the first in a leisurely 44.3s and the second much quicker in 37.3s.

The Postponed gelding lined up on both days at the recent Wairoa meeting, finishing sixth over 1300 metres on the first day and an unlucky fourth over 1500m on the second day. He will be stepped up to 1600 metres in a Rating 75 race at Otaki this Friday, with Lisa Allpress booked to ride him.

A Shocking three-year-old gelding and a three-year-old by Sufficient worked together over 800 metres at three-quarter pace, the last 600 in 43.5 while Tui Gold and a Lope de Vega three-year-old gelding were also restricted to just three-quarter pace when running 600 metres in 45.2.

Savvy Dreams, who finished a game second in last Thursday’s Group 3 Lowland Stakes, was back underwent a couple of rounds of half-pace on the sand. She has come through her hard race in good order and will now head to the Group 1 $300,000 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 18.

Scandalo, an impressive last start winner at Wairoa, was another who was restricted to just half-pace. The Shocking four-year-old won by 3-3/4 lengths over 1450 metres at Wairoa and will be stepped up to 1600 metres in a Rating 65 race at Waipukurau on March 23.

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